PARON (Pajhwok): Residents of eastern Nuristan province complain they have been lacking access to standard health services, asking the government to address the problem.
However, officials say efforts are being made to build a standard hospital in the remote province.
Salman, a resident of the provincial capital Paron, said there was no standard hospital in Nuristan.
He claimed the existing hospital in Paron provided services at a lower level than district clinics and referred patients to others provinces.
Roads in Nuristan, he noted, were unpaved one the one hand and its poor people could not afford to take their patients to other provinces on the other.
Inayat-ur-Rahman Rahmani, another resident, said people brought patients from districts to the provincial hospital, whose services were far from satisfactory.
Paron Hospital Director Dr. Shukrullah Atikan said the facility had long been operating in an improper building. But now the situation has improved, as medicines are supplied and health personnel paid salaries in time.
However, he underlined the need for upgrading it to the level of a full-fledged provincial hospital. It has enough personnel and there is no problem in this regard.
He, however, admitted the hospital provided services at a lower level than the district clinic. If upgraded, the hospital would better serve the people, he believed.
Maulvi Naqibullah Noori, director of public health, said there were 37 health centres in the province. Of them, only three health centres are operating at the district level.
He said efforts were underway to build a well-equipped provincial hospital in Nuristan. Some patients who cannot be treated in Paron are referred to the main provincial hospital in neighbouring Kunar.
Inhabitants say Paron is 100km from Asadabad, the capital of Kunar province, and they take six hours reaching there due to bumpy and unpaved roads.